Preaching to the Comforter

Is there anything more ridiculous than giving a ten-minute PowerPoint presentation to your empty bedroom? Having spent 55 minutes doing just that last night, I think I was more uncomfortable talking to an empty room than I will be when doing the actual presentation. Then I got to thinking, why was this my first time educating my down comforter? I can think of five presentations that I gave last semester, and not once did I elect to practice beforehand. How did I pull that off?

On my first go-through, my ten-minute presentation took nearly twenty minutes due to stopping to iron out what I wanted to say. There was definitely swearing involved. If I hadn’t practiced, would my real presentation have gone like that? Then I discovered that it is quite easy to get sidetracked when speaking aloud to no one. I watched people out the window. Where is my neighbor going? I spun around in my desk chair. I filed my right thumbnail. I noticed some blemishes on the wall. I spun some more. Talking all the while.

All in all, I spent several hours making the slides and nearly an hour practicing…for a ten-minute presentation. I don’t regret the time spent, but it does seem excessive, especially considering that I’ve given past presentations without any spoken preparation. I have to say, though, that after doing multiple run-throughs I don’t think I can go back to the “just walk into class and see how it goes” approach. I’ll feel better after it’s over, but in the meantime, it feels good to be prepared.

And you know what? This will be the first of two ten-minute presentations I have this week. My comforter is going to be the smartest blanket in town.

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